Apple store workers in France to strike during iPhone 15 launch

Apple is having a rough time of it in France as of late. As if mandated updates to the iPhone 12 due to radiation concerns weren’t enough, Apple customers in the country may now struggle to get their mitts on the latest model when it’s released. 

French Apple store workers have voted to strike at the end of the week — coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 15. Apple unions including CGT, Unsa, CFDT and Cidre-CFTC, are asking for better pay and working conditions, or their members will walk out this Friday and Saturday. 

Among the demands is a 7% increase in wages to make up for inflation (Apple is offering 4.5%). Furthermore, the negotiators are requesting that Apple put an end to a month-long hiring freeze.

“Since the management has decided to ignore our demands and concerns despite their perfect legitimacy, the 4 unions of Apple Retail France are calling for a strike on the 22nd and 23rd September,” the CGT Apple Retail said in a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. 

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“We remind management that it is not these movements that harm the company, but rather its denial in the face of the discomfort of its employees,” it continued (translated from the French original text). 

For context, during the announcement of the company’s Q3 financial results last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was happy to report an all-time revenue record in Services, driven by over one billion paid subscriptions, and “continued strength” in emerging markets thanks to robust sales of the iPhone. Last year, Apple reported a revenue of $394.33bn. 

According to a union spokesperson, workers can mobilise in three quarters of the country’s Apple stores. They will not prevent customers from shopping, however buyers will “need to be patient.” Union officials do not rule out more strike actions the following weekends if Apple’s management does not budge from its position.

The iPhone 15 will feature the EU mandated shift to USB-C charging — which some of our reporters are more than happy about. Other than that, it is far from revolutionary and more of a slightly updated phone — although it does feature the brand new A17 Pro chip. Among the more notable upgrades are a customisable action button, a titanium body for the pro range, and a next-generation automatic portrait mode for the camera. 

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